As a French tutor, your services will always be in demand. There will always be secondary school students who need assistance in their French language exams. Likewise, there will always be a demand for teaching business-level French. In this post, we cover everything you need to know about how to become a French tutor.
Whether you’re looking to become a full-time French tutor, or you just want to add an extra source of income to your evenings and weekends, tutoring can be a very rewarding line of work. French is one of the most popular Modern Foreign Languages taken at A-Level, and there is also consistently high demand for GCSE French tutors. Beyond school, French is also a highly sought-after language at professional level with many international business hiring French tutors for their staff. In this post, we provide advice on how to become a French tutor.
The Qualifications You Need to Become a French Tutor
If you’re looking to become a French tutor in the UK, there are no specific qualifications you need to begin working. As the majority of tutors are self-employed (even those who work for agencies), it’s the client’s decision as to whether you’re qualified enough to teach them.
This being said, the more qualified you are, the more valuable you will be in the eyes of your potential clients. If you’re not a native French speaker, you will most probably need a French degree in order to reach the level of fluency necessary to teach learners of all levels, i.e. beginners through to advanced.
However, fluency is only one side of the coin. Knowing the culture behind your target language will be hugely beneficial, so the ideal French tutor will have spent time in a French-speaking country, learning about life behind the language.
Finally, although it isn’t a legal requirement, you should consider obtaining a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) certificate, especially if you intend on tutoring students under the age of 18.
The Skills You Need to Become a French Tutor
In order to become a French tutor, there are four main competencies that you’ll need to have mastered. These are:
It’s key that you have grasped all four of these skills in order to successfully teach a wide range of students, from a GCSE learner to a business professional. Beyond these four competencies, the following skills will also come in handy:
Adaptable Communication – As you’ll most likely be teaching a wide range of ages and abilities, it’s important that you’re able to communicate with many different people. Every student will have their own individual learning style, from auditory to visual, so it’s important that you’re able to adapt your teaching style adequately for each client.
One-to-One and Group Teaching Skills – Tutoring differs from classroom teaching in that you’ll be teaching mainly individual learners, or small groups of students. It’s therefore important that you’re able to devote your full attention to your student for the entirety of a session, or divide your attention equally between a small group. Your teaching style should be friendly but fair, and enthusiastic but without excessive praise. This all also applies to online tuition.
Business Knowledge – When you become a French tutor, you will automatically become a business owner, be it as a sole trader or a limited company. In order to ensure your success, make sure you familiarize yourself with areas such as taxes and marketing; local council business advisors can be a great help if you require some outside input.
For more advice on the skills you need to become a tutor, check out this useful video:
Deciding Which Level of French to Tutor
As a French tutor, there are a few different options when it comes to deciding which level to teach. Whilst you can of course choose more than one, your key target audiences are likely to be:
- GCSE and A-Level students – the focus will be on revising and passing exams, and working on weak areas in the target language
- Business professionals – these will usually be intermediate to more advanced learners who want to develop their language skills for their career
- Hobbyists – these clients will be recreational learners, who are picking up a new language for fun. Lessons will generally be more relaxed and less goal-oriented
In general, your biggest pool of clients will be GCSE and A-Level students. Nevertheless, there is nothing stopping you carving out a niche as a tutor for other groups of learners, such as university students or holidaymakers, whether online or in your local area.
Setting Your French Tuition Rates
One of the trickiest aspects of becoming a French tutor can be deciding your tutoring rates. One Google search will show you that French tutors charge anywhere between £10 per hour to £60+, depending on factors such as experience. While there is no industry standard charge, the average French tutor in the UK usually charges between £20 and £50 per hour.
Once your rates are decided, you can then decide whether you will provide discounts for block bookings or for groups. Moreover, you can consider whether you will charge travel fees for students who are further than a certain distance from you.
Finally, whilst it may be tempting to start out with low rates, you must bear in mind that your working hours are likely to be limited to evenings and weekends. You could, however, supplement this with contracted work in schools, or daytime workshops.
How to Find French Tutoring Jobs
As a tutor, your success will be dependent upon your ability to market your services and find clients. If you’re looking to tutor in your local area, then you might want to check out our post, How Can I Market Myself as a Private Tutor in my Local Area. If, however, you plan on tutoring online, then have a read of our post 7 Steps to Effectively Market Your Tutoring Business Online.
Once your French tutoring business is established, clients will hopefully come to you, but you may also want to keep an eye on tutoring jobs boards like the one we have at The Tutor Website in the meantime. Finally, to truly maximise your chances of being found in your local area through online searches, you should consider signing up to our private tutor directory.
If you’d like to learn more about how to become an English Language tutor and, then you can buy our eBook ‘How to Start Your Own Tutoring Business’ for £21.99 – it’s packed full of useful advice.